Asus

ASUS GeForce Noctua Edition Graphics Card available now in NZ!

UPDATE: Limited stock has just landed for Asus RTX 3070 Noctua Edition

If you’ve been thinking about combining the quiet cooling of Noctua fans with an Asus performance graphics card you’re in luck, those fine folks at Asus and Noctua have teamed up and created exactly what you wanted!

This new ASUS Noctua Edition Graphics Card incorporates a pair of beautiful (and massive) Noctua NF-A12x25 fans. With low noise levels being a priority, along with high cooling performance while making room for this pair of 120 mm fans, the card’s total volume was expanded to occupy 4.3 slots of space and requires 2×8-pin power inputs!

Developed in partnership between the veteran thermal R&D team at ASUS and engineers at Noctua, the engineers have worked together to tune the fin density and heat pipe arrangement of the heatsink, optimising it for the airflow characteristics of the NF-A12x25. The NF-A12x25 fan was chosen for this project because of the numerous innovations packed into its 120mm frame. An impeller made from Noctua’s proprietary Sterrox liquid-crystal polymer has an exceptionally low thermal expansion coefficient, allowing the fan blades to sit just 0.5 mm away from the outer frame. This extremely tight tolerance allows the NF-A12x25 to work more efficiently against back pressure by reducing the leakage of airflow between the blade tips and the outer frame. A metal-reinforced motor hub and axis further support this highly precise gap between impeller and frame. Furthermore, a custom PWM IC with Smooth Commutation Drive technology reduces fan noise levels at lower speeds. An acoustic profile specifically tuned for a smooth and pleasant character, even against back pressure, is ideal for a GPU heatsink application. Flow Acceleration Channels at the tip of each impeller blade both improve efficiency and lower vortex noise. Inner Surface Microstructures on the fan frame reduce the noise from passing fan blades. Anti-vibration pads made from soft silicone prevent the transmission of sympathetic vibrations to the graphics card and on through the case. These advanced features have led to hundreds of media awards and a reputation as the best 120 mm fan on the market.

This cooperative development process resulted in some of the best thermal performance per decibel of noise emitted of any graphics card on the market.

Via ASUS: “Using our extensive thermal R&D experience, we’ve created a new GPU heatsink that’s tailor-made for the performance characteristics of the state-of-the-art NF-A12x25 fans,” said Kent Chien, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the ASUS Multimedia Business Unit. “Our teamwork gives noise-conscious gamers and Noctua enthusiasts a unique graphics card that maximizes heat dissipation per decibel of noise emitted, all in a package that coordinates perfectly with other Noctua products in a DIY PC.”“Users who are concerned first and foremost about the noise levels and noise characteristics of their system will undoubtedly notice the difference. “

Compared to the very popular TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3070 OC Edition, the Noctua Edition produces a 10 dB-lower sound pressure level when controlling for the same power limit, ambient temperature, and thermal junction temperature.

Via NOCTUA: “By using our NF-A12x25 fans and collaborating to fine-tune the heatsink for use with them, this card achieves a significant boost in performance-to-noise efficiency,” added Noctua CEO Roland Mossig. “The ASUS line-up of GeForce RTX 3070 cards is already outstanding, but we’re confident that the Noctua Edition will be the cherry on the cake for noise-conscious customers.”

Sporting the iconic custom brown shroud for the duo of NF-A12x25 fans to showcase that oh so distinctive colour scheme. There are both ASUS and Noctua logos on the front and sides of the shroud, along with subtle graphics on the full-length alloy backplate.

In addition to the bespoke heatsink and super quiet fans, this new graphics card also enjoys signature features that ASUS graphics cards are known for, with a whopping 144-hour validation process ensuring that this card is ready to perform for the long run.

Stock is expected to be very limited, check out the latest in the Noctua Store or the Asus Store today!

AMD Radeon RX 6600 Graphics Cards available now in NZ!

UPDATE: RX 6600 builds are now included in AMD Rewards – Raise the Game!

Gosh, they did a pretty good job keeping this new graphics card release under wraps, but as of 2 am October 14th 2021, the latest AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics cards are available to buy in New Zealand!

Much like the recently released XT version, there is no reference cooler design, so we get to enjoy a diverse range of aftermarket versions from AMD exclusive partners Powercolor, Sapphire and ASRock, as well as Asus, Gigabyte and a little later on, MSI.

AMD Radeon RX 6600 Essentials:

1x 8-Pin Power input (500w PSU recommended)
3x DisplayPort (v1.4) + 1x HDMI (Supports 4K@120Hz)
7680 x 4320 Max Resolution
2+ Slot Form Factor

Starting off with a closer look at the Sapphire Pulse RX 6600 Graphics Card we see that this latest option features their awesome Dual-X cooling system, with a state-of-the-art radiator setup and 2x fans that help to keep things cool while remaining rather quiet thanks to the larger size + improvements Sapphire has made to the fan blades, which they claim make the solution up to 10% quieter than the previous generation – nicely done Sapphire!

White the Sapphire Nitro+ Cooler leans towards the 2-slot form factor, a closer look at the MSI 2x Mech RX 6600 shows not all are so slim. While its still an easy fit for most chassis, for those looking to build very tight ITX SFF gaming PC it could be an important detail to consider.

That being said, previous MECH 2X GPU have performed very well and this new arrival is likely to follow the trend, that TORX FAN 3.0 tech is very cool!

More favourites in the new range are from AMD exclusive partner Powercolor who have two models releasing in NZ on day one, the Powercolor Fighter RX 6600 and Powercolor Hellhound RX 6600. Fighter is their standard ultra-slim design, with no LED light effects or bling to be seen, the design finds itself nicely filling the gap for those ultra-small gaming PC builds in which every mm counts.

The Powercolor Hellhound version sacrifices the slim Fighter design, but adds very vibrant LED lighting too a massive set of twin fans, it looks awesome especially with a chassis that supports either inverted motherboard placement or side mounting GPU with a PCIe 4.0 extender.

Rounding off our quick look is a monster RX 6600 for Gigabyte, with a massive 3x Fan cooler fitted on their Eagle RX 6600. The GPU PCB length is still short, and this allows the back fan to blow right through the fins.

Although significantly larger than all other launch options, the Gigabyte Eagle RX 6600 still only requires that 1x 8-Pin power input, and is surprisingly quite slim, just a couple of mm over 2-slot.

It’s really good to see some many great options released, and with the new AMD Radeon RX 6600 being the most affordable graphics card option for gamers it sure is well received here at GGPC – we’re busily working on our first RX 6600 Gaming PC builds with the Gigabyte Eagle inside – and it’s looking really really good 🙂

GAME ON!

NVIDIA Battlefield 2042 GAME BUNDLE with RTX 3070(Ti), RTX 3080(Ti) and RTX 3090 Custom PC Builds!

UPDATE: This promotion has now ended, see the latest Nvidia Game Bundle here!

Get ready for more team tactical gaming with the latest BATTLEFIELD 2042 game code offer from NVIDIA!

The offer is different from previous ones, in that right now, you can’t activate the bonus offer with the purchase of an NVIDIA Graphics Card stand-alone, and exactly what is eligible changes depending on the brand.

The offer is only valid on select GeForce RTX 3090, 3080 Ti, 3080, 3070 Ti, and 3070 desktop and laptop systems with invoices dated from August 24th – October 4th 2021. (Codes expire on 4th January 2022.)

This may change as more brands join in but right now it’s only MSI (Pre-built Gaming PC) and ASUS / GIGABYTE (Custom Gaming PC builds).

Please note: We expect more brand redemption websites will go live soon, and we’ll add more brands as they get confirmed.

When it comes to what qualifies as a custom Gaming PC build, the Asus T&C say the invoice(s) must include eligible RTX 3070/80/90(Ti) GPU plus at least 3/4 additional parts listed from compatible Motherboard, CPU, RAM and Storage, so yep, definitely read the specific brand redemption page conditions before you commit. You can use the custom PC builder tool at https://www.pbtech.co.nz/system-builder/gaming-pc/custom-gaming-pc and if you select an eligible GPU, a banner will automatically appear.

Register to Redeem with select MSI Desktop Gaming PC

Register to Redeem with select Gigabyte Custom Gaming PC Builds

Register to Redeem with select ASUS Custom Gaming PC Builds

Once you’ve got your awesome new hardware, you’ll need to register to redeem your promotion code, to activate your promotional code for Battlefield™ 2042 you must have a GeForce Experience and EA Origin account.

Now, onto the game 🙂

This Nvidia bundle includes BF2042 Standard Edition, and because of the dates it’s likely going to activate the pre-order bonuses, so activate your codes right away for the best possible result!

Open Beta Early Access
Baku ACB-90 melee takedown knife
“Mr. Chompy” epic weapon charm
“Landfall” player card background and “Old Guard” tag 

Via NVIDIA: NVIDIA is proud to announce that we are the official Battlefield 2042 PC graphics platform partner. Battlefield V was the first Frostbite game engine-based game to add DLSS, and Battlefield 2042 is the second.

Battlefield 2042: The world is in chaos. Resources are dwindling as violent climate change takes hold and the United States and Russia are on the verge of war. As entire countries collapse, people find themselves with no nation to call home. These nomads are known as the Non-Patriated (“No-Pats”), a diverse group of people who have bound together in clusters across the globe in order to survive the turbulent new world.

Play as non-patriated soldiers with unique skills who’ve taken up arms. They are known as Specialists, tasked with carrying out military operations. In-game, each of these unique Specialists have their own speciality and trait that you can use to give yourself the advantage in combat.

Battlefield 2042 is set to release October 22nd, get your squad ready for massive battles with up to 128 players, new and remastered maps, transformative weather events and a cutting-edge arsenal at your disposal.

It’s exciting for sure, Battlefield 2042 is the next generation of the series’ exciting sandbox gameplay and distinct multiplayer experiences.

GAME ON!

RX 6600 XT Graphics Cards Available Now in NZ!

UPDATE: AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT Graphics Cards are available now!

Following a flurry of leaks and teasers, AMD and their partners Powercolor, Gigabyte, MSI, Sapphire & Asus have been proudly showing off the performance and cooling for the new AMD Radeon RX 6600 Graphics Card series just unveiled.

Unlike the monster GPUs we’ve seen already in recent 6000 series releases, this new RX6600 looks to be targeting excellent performance at 1920×1080 resolution, but the performance results shown so far have this graphics card pushing out frames like an absolute champion, beating the popular RTX 3060 in a range of popular games, including Battlefield 5 with a whopping +16 FPS in comparison.

Moreover, the charts released by AMD show Cyberpunk 2077 reaching an 83FPS average on max settings, while that’s only 3FPS higher than the RTX 3060 test system – it’s an unbelievable result in both respects. More exciting numbers are Apex Legends at 186FPS, DOTA 2 at 289FPS and Rainbow 6 Siege at 441FPS… so I think we’ll be pushing past 1080p in a few situations!

Picture of FPS statistics to compare the RX 6600 XT with the RTX 3060 Graphics Card

This was all revealed in the AMD Where Gaming Begins: EP. 4 presentation, in which the Director of Product Management for Radeon, Nish Neelalojanan, introduced us to the new AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT, highlighting the low power supply requirements and awesome performance it offers to gamers.

The lower than expected PSU requirements are great too see, making the new AMD Radeon RX6600 a variable upgrade for those running a 500w PSU in their current system, if you’re running higher you can be sure there are going to be higher wattage versions with aftermarket coolers from the partners to consider as well.

Before we jump into a closer look at the various versions coming for RX 6600 XT, let’s take a quick look at the base specifications and expand some of the acronyms around outputs.

Essentials:

– Max Resolution 7680×4320
– Expected Power (Desktop): 160w
– Memory Size: 8GB GDDR6
– Memory Bandwidth: Up to 256 GB/s
– Base Frequency: 1968 MHz
– Boost Frequency: Up to 2589 MHz

Inputs & Outputs:

– Power Input: 1x 8pin
– DisplayPort: 1.4 with DSC (Display Stream Compression)
– HDMI: 2.1 with FRL (Fixed Rate Link) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate)

Picture of the outputs on the RX 6600 XT, HDMI and DisplayPort with no Type-C, unlike the larger options.

Shown above, the outputs from the ASUS DUAL RX6600XT match reference design, with 3x DisplayPort and 1x HDMI.

What is DSC? DisplayPort with Display Steam Compression uses the same 32.4 Gbps bandwith, but unlike the non DSC version can can support 4K at 120Hz with HDR, or even 8K at 60 Hz with DSC enabled.

What is VRR? This Variable Refresh Rate enables the source to wait until the next frame is ready so a smoother gaming experience can be provided VS the more taxing option to repeat the current frame, or worse, to display the partially-rendered next frame, causing a teared look and stutter.

What is FRL? In HDMI 2.1 specification, Fixed Rate Link support is necessary to achieve the higher uncompressed resolutions such as those above 4K 60FPS.

Ahhh that’s some good jargon, now let’s take a closer look at aftermarket favourites which are expected to be available on release day here in NZ.

Starting off with Sapphire, an exclusive partner of AMD, we now expect two different versions of the RX 6600 XT to be available at launch featuring NITRO+ and PULSE aftermarket cooler designs. These are both dual fan models, quite a bit larger than the stock cooler option from AMD for lower noise and improved thermal performance under load. The PULSE RX6600XT offers a larger cooler with the same single 8-pin PCIe power input as the reference model

The Sapphire Nitro+ cooler design is awesome, adding metallic and addressable RGB aesthetics along with neat features such as a BIOS switch for quickly accessing various profiles, like performance and silent. The NITRO RX6600XT has an ARGB header just above the Sapphire logo too.

If you look closely at the fans you’ll also notice the Sapphire Nitro+ is using alternate spin too, this new hybrid fan design provides strong downward air pressure through the fan while keeping the noise low.

Looking at the Gigabyte options, we have an absolute monster graphics card named the RX 6600 XT GAMING OC PRO. At first glance, this looked very similar to the RTX 3080 GAMING OC cooler design, but it’s quite a bit smaller with straighter lines. This uses the WINDFORCE 3X cooling system with alternate spinning fans too, but again requires only a single 8-pin PCIe power input 🙂 Nicely done Gigabyte!

These three are all looking great, but this is just a small slice of what’s coming, with Asus even showing off a water cooled option via ROG STRIX – very exciting times ahead!

Shop the latest in the AMD Store!

NVIDIA CALL OF DUTY COLD WAR GAME BUNDLE WITH RTX 3080 & RTX 3090

UPDATE: This promotion has now ended, redemption is still open for a very limited time (expected last day for vendor redemption websites is 18th Feb)

Gear up and get ready for some amazing team shooter gameplay with the latest register to redeem game code offer for the upcoming FPS extravaganza, Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War!

This time it’s for those grabbing themselves selected RTX 3080 or RTX 3090 graphics cards, or gaming PC featuring this hardware.

This promotion is for eligible purchases from October 30th, 2020 –  February 11 2021, but only from certain brands (see the PB Tech RTX Call of Duty: Cold War Promotion in NZ)

The register to redeem part of this promotion depends on the specific graphics card brand purchased, see the NZ links below to claim your game code.

Register to Redeem Asus / ROG / TUF GPU = https://www.asus.com/events/infoM/activity_call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war

Register to Redeem Gigabyte / AORUS GPU = https://au.aorus.com/event-detail.php?i=1723 (redemption now closed)

Register to Redeem EVGA GPU = https://au.evga.com/articles/01453/get-call-of-duty

Register to Redeem MSi GPU = https://au.msi.com/Promotion/the-ultimate-play

COD Black OPS Cold War: A gripping single-player Campaign awaits players, come face-to-face with historical figures and hard truths, battle around the globe through iconic locales like East Berlin, Vietnam, Turkey, Soviet KGB headquarters, and more!

The next chapter of the iconic Black Ops Multiplayer experience is here, defined by signature combat, deniable operations, and a connected experience across platforms and generations.

Black Ops Cold War will also support and build on the hit, free-to-play PC game experience Call of Duty: Warzone.

Experience the next generation of global combat in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 30 Series. Dedicated RT Cores for ray tracing and Tensor Cores for groundbreaking AI acceleration with NVIDIA DLSS. NVIDIA Reflex for the lowest latency and best responsiveness. GeForce RTX 30 Series.

GAME ON!

Nvidia RTX 30 Series Watch Dogs: LEGION Game Bundle!

UPDATE: This offer has now ended, see the latest Nvidia Promotions here!

Nvidia have a new game bonus offer and it’s for those gearing up with the new RTX 3070, RTX 3080 or RTX 3090 graphics cards, or gaming PC featuring this awesome hardware.

WATCH DOG: LEGION: Gear up and get ready for some awesome hack-attacking! With an entire population of potential recruits and the city’s technology at your fingertips, you’ll need to hack, infiltrate, and fight your way to a liberated London.

The full game is set launch on October 29th 2020 and the Ubisoft team worked with Nvidia to bring gamer’s the ultimate experience, enhanced with immersive ray-traced reflections and performance-accelerating DLSS!

The Nvidia Watch Dogs: LEGION game bonus offer is valid on purchases from September 17th – October 30th, 2020 or while code supplies last. (codes expire November 30th)

This promotion is only available from selected RTX graphics cards, quick links below for all models included in this promotion. (See the full range of Nvidia RTX at PB Tech)

GeForce RTX 3070 Out now!
GeForce RTX 3080 Out now!
GeForce RTX 3090 Out now!

Once you’ve got your awesome new hardware, you’ll need to register to redeem your game code, see quick links below for Desktop Graphics Cards included in the promotion.

Register to Redeem MSi RTX Graphics Cards

Register to Redeem GIGABYTE RTX Graphics Cards

Register to Redeem EVGA RTX Graphics Cards

Register to Redeem ASUS ROG RTX Graphics Cards

Want to see more while you wait? Enter the Watch Dogs Legion universe in this intense chase through a dystopian London created by Emmy awards winner Alberto Mielgo.

GAME ON!

Frames Win Games – Nvidia RTX Rainbow 6 Seige Gold Edition BONUS

UPDATE: This offer has now ended, see the latest Nvidia Promotions here!

Nvidia are back again with another good game bonus offer!

Gear up and get ready for some awesome team tactical gaming with the latest register to redeem TOM CLANCY’S RAINBOW SIX® SIEGE GOLD EDITION game code for those getting themselves a selected RTX Graphics Card, or Gaming PC featuring this hardware.

You’ll need to get in quick for this one though, the offer is only valid on purchases from July 30th – September 30th 2020. (Original end date August 28th)

This offer is only available from selected RTX graphics cards, quick links below for all models included in this promotion. (See the full range of Nvidia GeForce Graphics Cards at PB Tech)

Once you’ve got your awesome new hardware, you’ll need to register to redeem your game code, see quick links below for Desktop Graphics Cards or Gaming PC featuring these included in the promotion.

Register to Redeem Gigabyte AORUS RTX Graphics Cards

Register to Redeem EVGA RTX Graphics Cards

Register to Redeem ASUS ROG RTX Graphics Cards

Register to Redeem MSi RTX Graphics Cards (Also includes Laptops and Desktop PC!)

Rainbow 6 Seige: Master the art of destruction and gadgetry in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. Face intense close-quarters combat, high lethality, tactical decision making, team play and explosive action within every moment. Engage in a brand-new style of assault using an unrivalled level of destruction and gadgetry!

On defence: Coordinate with your team to transform your environments into strongholds. Trap, fortify and create defensive systems to prevent being breached by the enemy.

On attack: Lead your team through narrow corridors, barricaded doorways and reinforced walls. Combine tactical maps, observation drones, rappelling and more to plan, attack and defuse every situation.

The Gold Edition pack allows the player to choose from dozens of highly trained, Special Forces operators from around the world. Deploy the latest technology to track enemy movement. Shatter walls to open new lines of fire. Breach ceilings and floors to create new access points. Employ every weapon and gadget from your deadly arsenal to locate, manipulate and destroy your enemies and the environment around them.

Running high frames and refresh rates on competitive games allow you to see things sooner and hit what you are aiming at. This Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege high FPS and Hz video shows the benefits of using a powerful graphics card like the GeForce RTX 2080Ti with a 240 Hz monitor.

The base game feels like a modern Counterstrike at first, so you can jump in and get into the lethal shooter gameplay side right away, but much like CS as you learn the various levels the game starts to evolve into a very deep, rather slow tactical shooter, packed full of glorious PVP misdirection and bait movements.

More than just point and shoot, there is a real emphasis on using environmental sounds to locate the enemies in this one too, adding to the tension and everyone slowly creeps about the place, peeping through holes in walls and popping off rounds to cover the sounds created elsewhere.

You can play the game in a single-player mode they call ‘situations’ and this is great for trying out new things without having to wait for the match to end to try things again. Multiplayer is also doable in solo queue but the game really comes into its own when you team up with mates and get on the microphones.

You don’t actually need to have the highest-end graphics card to enjoy this game too, 60+ FPS is achievable on entry-level GTX configs (remember this game bonus offer is ONLY for RTX graphics cards though), simply don a riot shield, work with your team, and have fun emptying the clip 🙂

GAME ON!

Raze HELL with ASUS + Doom Eternal Game BONUS!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This Bonus offer starts on August 1st!

For a limited time and while game codes last, gear up with selected ASUS AMD Graphics Cards or Motherboards and you can register to redeem a sweet DOOM Eternal Game BONUS!

Gear up and get in quick, this offer is only valid on purchases from August 1st – August 31th 2020.

This offer is only available from selected ASUS Radeon Graphics Cards or AMD Ryzen B450/B550 chipset Motherboards, see quick links below for models included in this promotion that are available in NZ. (See the full range of Asus at PB Tech)

Eligible Asus Components:

ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 5700XT Graphics Card

ASUS ROG STRIX B450-F GAMING Motherboard

ASUS ROG Strix B550-F GAMING (WI-FI) Motherboard

ASUS TUF GAMING B550M-PLUS (WI-FI) Motherboard

ASUS PRIME B550M-A (WI-FI) Motherboard

ASUS PRIME B550M-K Motherboard

Once you’ve got your awesome new hardware you can register to redeem via the ASUS Doom Eternal Redemption Site to register your new hardware and claim that game code!

DOOM ETERNAL: Hell’s armies have invaded Earth. Become the Slayer in an epic single-player campaign to conquer demons across dimensions and stop the final destruction of humanity. The only thing they fear… is you.

If you’ve played Doom before, you’re in for more of the same action-packed ultra violence 🙂 Be prepared for awesome new environments too, this one feels like a it’s channelling HELL ON EARTH at times, and it’s a worthy spiritual sequel/remake for sure!.

GAME ON!

Good Gaming PC – Custom Builds & Asus Z490

With the brand new Asus 400 series of motherboards now happily making their way towards New Zealand, just in time for the Intel 10th Gen release date (which is set as May 21st in this part of the world), it’s the perfect time to start designing some custom gaming rigs for these awesome new options!

While the new Asus Z490 range includes many options, the two favourites are the glorious PRIME Z490-A and ROG STRIX Z490-F, which is perfect for us because they both look so different, with contrasting black VS white colour themes.

Both also have the internal header required for use with Type-C front IO found on the latest chassis – so we can build pretty much anything we want 🙂

Firing up the GGPC custom PC design tool and loading in the new options gives us some really cool looking configs, using the NZXT H510 series of cases chosen for that oh so good Type-C front IO, and they’re also available in black and white to match our motherboards, along with Elite options for those that want more glass, and even CRFT special edition for that unique WoW factor.

Combining these with all the Asus graphics cards options from AMD and Nvidia, along with the latest SSD & RAM options from Crucial, Samsung, G.Skill & Kingston, and more vibrant custom cooling from Cooler Master & NZXT for adding even more colour to the mix we’ve been able to create some wonderful looking builds.

Clicking the custom PC images shown above will take you to our building tool, we’ve kept our options fairly monochrome to start things off so the colour themes really come through nicely.

Have a play around with the parts and see which configuration you like the most, we’ll be doing the same while photographing and adding new components to the builder along the way!

For those new to custom PC gaming builds there’s a lot more to Asus than just really really good looking… I mean… some of it’s is just so utterly gorgeous that I… lost my chain of thought… Asus are real good engineers too! 

For many people out there it has been a while since they’ve done a new build for themselves, considering just how good things like the i7-7700 were a few years back you can completely understand why too! It has been able to keep up with all but the newest graphics cards which is nice, but with the new Intel 10th Gen i7-10700 showing such significant gains in comparison, along with the motherboard enhancements radically increasing the speed of our storage though all-new options, and connectivity like WiFi 6, for many it’s going to be enough motivation to pick up that screwdriver 😛

Which brings us to more reasons why Asus are pretty great for PC builders.

Asus Q-CODE & Q-LED will help to identify problems with a PC even if it can’t boot into windows or box. Four little LEDs light up to indicate power status, and any problem with the CPU, graphics card, RAM or boot drive for a quick diagnosis. Going one step further the Q diagnostic codes provide a reference point for fast and easy codes that describe common installation and component problems, and also when it’s (A)ll(O)k!

ROG Bios Flashback is the simplest (and safest) BIOS update method and it’s soo good that updates can even be done with no CPU or RAM installed – crazy right?! Simply download and pop that BIOS file onto a USB stick, plug it into the special USB BIOS Flashback port and press the button to begin the automatic process. You’ll still need to have the motherboard connected to your power supply of course, but no RAM and no CPU is a massive win, it allows us to make sure a build is running the latest software even before its fully assembled, minimising the issues that arrive a little later on when even newer hardware gets released.

Asus SafeSlot is something you’ll likely not to even notice is there, but back in the day (2008) it was really difficult to ship a pre-built gaming PC with the graphics card fitted because in transit if it took a solid knock the weight of the massive GPU could literally rip the PCIe socket apart with the graphics card still in it! Asus solved this by making sure every part was tightly secured in thermoplastic, an insert moulded SafeSlot prevents part loosening, misalignment, improper terminations, and other structural issues. The thermoplastic resin also provides improved resistance to shock and vibration. 

Those are all sweet features, but the likelihood of something going wrong with an Asus motherboard is slim at best, so let’s turn our gaze to the totally unnecessary features that make us smile, things like RGB and top-quality audio goodness.

AURA is what Asus have named their RGB software suite, but it’s important to note that it’s not only for Asus gear – more than 50 other brands such as Cooler Master, Hyper X, Crucial, G.Skill, Phanteks, AMD, EKWB, Lian Li and more have products that work with the Asus AURA software suite, so you can control and sync your RGB LED light show with just the one software setup. It’s awesome and goes beyond the usual PC parts to offer controls for everything from gaming monitors to mice. Just look out for the AURA badge when you’re choosing your various components and gaming gears and you’ll be all set.

The component we generally try our hardest to match with the motherboard is the graphics card, and Asus graphics cards which also feature Aura are the best ones too, you can even connect more RGB stuff directly to some models now, as if the 2xRGB and 2x ARGB headers weren’t already enough!

Sonic Studio does a bunch of neat things if you’re into sharing your awesome gameplay by live-streaming it with X-Split or OBS, and if you look at this Z490-F specifically it’s packing as Asus exclusive S1220A chip for SupremeFX technology that provides a flat frequency response for a neutral, detailed sound signature, so if you’re using a gaming headset, the front-panel output is driven by two op-amps to preserve audio quality.

Having all this sweet audio tech allows for other things too, but opinions are mixed on features like Sonic Rader III which will allow you to graphically see where sounds (like footsteps) are coming from in-game, and that latest version does a good job of indicating how far that sound is too, so if you’re waiting in a room you can shoot the bad guy through the door BEFORE he opens it – yep, that sounds like cheating to me BUT then you realise the other benefits that it brings, allowing you to game without the sound turned on, in the living room for example with others being loud, or maybe just so you can enjoy a good audiobook while you play. With sonic radar on because you’ll still have those audio ques, even if you can’t hear what’s going on.

Combine all this with world record-smashing overclocks and an ecosystem of products that cover everything on our desks it’s easy to see why Asus is a global leader in technology – and with the Z490-A + Z490-F it’s just about to get a whole lot better!

GAME ON!

Nvidia Super – RTX 2060S, RTX 2070S & RTX 2080S

Nvidia have a whole bunch of new graphics cards options for PC gamers in NZ and they’re calling them SUPER!

UPDATE: Nvidia have a new 2x Game BONUS up for grabs too! Check out the SUPERFAST SUPERNATURAL Promotion for more information.

Much like the existing Ti identifier, these new ‘S’ models (EG: ROG-STRIX-RTX2060S-O8G-GAMING) indicate the increased performance of the much loved RTX 2060, RTX 2070 and RTX 2080 options – with the new models named RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 SUPER and RTX 2080 SUPER. Right now, Nvidia is busy showing off the founders’ edition cards but there are some wonderful new aftermarket versions for these ones too!

Kicking off with the RTX 2060 SUPER models we get a 2GB memory upgrade bringing the total to 8GB onboard. This is nice for those playing games such as Apex Legends, which displays a memory warning when running the game on max settings with the 6GB card.

Looking at the first releases, we have some excellent new RTX 2060 Super Graphics Card models!

Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER Windforce
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER Gaming OC
Aorus GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
EVGA GeForce RTX 2060S SUPER SC Ultra

The new RTX 2070S is running 8GB VRAM also, but the GPU architecture this time is taken from the RTX 2080 (Turing 104, classic RTX 2070 is using Turing 106) so it’s looking a lot like a cut-down RTX 2080 🙂 This, of course, makes the RTX 2070 Super Graphics Card power requirements change heavier due that increased performance, with the RTX 2070S now using the 8pin + 6pin power connection rather than a single 8-pin seen on the classic RTX 2070.

New models for RTX 2070 Super as below!

Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Gaming OC
Asus GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Dual EVO
Asus ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER
Aorus GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER

EVGA GeForce RTX 2070S SUPER Black
EVGA GeForce RTS 2070S SUPER XC

And that brings us to the new RTX 2080 Super, which is also running with 8GB VRAM and Turing 104 architecture just like the standard version, but with a few additional cores to boost that performance.

Aorus GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Gaming OC
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Black Edition
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER XC
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER XC Ultra (really BIG!)
EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER FTW3 Ultra (also really BIG!)

You can check out all the new models in the Nvidia Store at PB Tech, and be sure to keep your eyes on our Gaming PC builds for the latest!

GAME ON!